The Rocky Mountain Rangers Support Christmas Food Drive

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Article / December 6, 2016

By Major Amadeo Vecchio, DCO, UPAR Rocky Mountain Rangers

People in Kamloops can look forward to a happier and more nourished Christmas this year thanks to the efforts of The Rocky Mountain Rangers Food Drive.  On the 5th of November, The Rocky Mountain Rangers, in partnership with the Kamloops Food Bank, hosted an event for the collection of perishable and non-perishable food items in order to assist the Kamloops Food Bank in their ongoing aim of sharing food, feeding hope and strengthening the community.  This year’s event was the second season that the Regiment has partnered to prepare for the fast approaching festive holiday season which places a huge commitment on behalf of the food bank to feed individuals of the City of Kamloops community whom are not as fortunate as others.

The final tally raised was 1,165 lbs of food items and numerous cans of monies collected from two locations. It is estimated that over $2,000 dollars was collected.  This event was a way for the Rocky Mountain Rangers to assist persons and families in need during the holiday season and give back to the community which has given substantial support for the Regiment when deployed both domestically and on overseas missions.  

The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Normand Dionne, brought the idea forward in 2015, and initiated contact with the food bank operations manager, Mr. Wes Graham, to facilitate the planning process for an event.  The food bank was ecstatic that the local military unit would assist in their ongoing endeavour in provide the necessities to numerous families, especially during the holiday season.  The idea was brought back to the unit and was received with open arms from all ranks of the Regiment, with no shortage of members stepping up to assist with the event.

This year’s event was held at two locations, Cains Independent Grocer, a large grocery store located at the North Hills Mall in Kamloops and the Real Canadian Superstore on the south shore of the city. The Independent Grocer manager, Mr. Jason Cain, went above and beyond in the spirit of the event to specifically mark down certain food items so that they could be purchased by customers and dropped off outside to the awaiting food boxes.

The Real Canadian Superstore also opened their arms to the regiment for this year’s event as well, and the Rangers showcased two of its vehicles to raise awareness; an MSVS and MILCOT’s which the public had an opportunity to view and ask questions regarding their capabilities. The comments from the community and the customers from both stores were extremely positive and they thanked our soldiers on countless occasions for their efforts in assisting with the food bank drive.  

McDonald’s Restaurant was also brought in as a partner and they kindly donated two large coffee containers for the store and the mall customers as well as the general public. The collection boxes were placed just inside two sections of modular tent age that was set up adjacent to the military vehicles. The day went extremely well and the soldiers had a smooth system in place where once the boxes were filled, they were placed inside the MSVS which already had pallets on board for ease of removal once the vehicle returned to the food bank depot for unloading. This year’s event had the local affiliated army cadet corps 2305 RCACC attend at both locations to assist in bagging groceries for customers, as well as Branch # 52 of the Royal Canadian Legion. This was truly a regimental family step-up to help their community.

At the end of the day all members involved with this event were thanked with open arms for their efforts and commitment to helping their community and how many families appreciated the Regiments help with this noble cause. This year’s event gained further traction than last year and will certainly be perpetuated next year.

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